French law now requires electronics manufacturers to post repairability scores for their products. The legislation went into effect on January 1, but companies have until next year before regulators begin imposing fines to enforce the rule. Apple and Samsung have already started displaying the labels on their websites (below) and in stores (bottom).
French media outlet Radio France Internationale notes that manufacturers are allowed to self-report their scores but are bound by strict guidelines. The ratings range from 1-10, with higher scores indicating the device is more readily repairable.
Things like ease of disassembly and availability of repair manuals or replacement parts factor into the scores. MacGeneration lists the five main judging criteria are as follows:
- the availability of documentation (for repair, use and maintenance as well as the period during which this information is made available);
- disassembly (how easily it is done, how easy it is to access parts, what tools are required, how the parts are fixed in the device);
- spare parts (period of availability and delivery times);
- the price of spare parts (compared to new);
- the available software updates, the offer of remote technical assistance free of charge and the possibility of resetting your device in a software way [sic].
Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup, including the Mini, Pro and Pro Max, all scored a 6 out of 10 on the repairability index. Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro, with the company’s M1 chip, got a 5.6 out of 10.
Apple nor Samsung have commented on the new law, it is safe to assume that they are probably not happy about having to list repairability scores, especially on products that fall short in that area. Apple has been a vocal opponent of right-to-repair laws in the past, but has begun relaxing its stance more recently. Fortunately, the rules allow device makers easy ways to increase a product’s ranking.